The things I didn’t expect

When I found out I was pregnant I was overwhelmed and surprised but I didn’t have any worries about the actual parenting element of being a Mum. I figured that it was natural instinct and while I knew it would be hard and there would be difficult days I just assumed some primal maternal instinct would take over and I’d know how to face those challenges.

Boy was I wrong.

I didn’t know how difficult it would be to give up my work because nursery fees are so expensive. I didn’t know how lonely it can sometimes be spending days at home on your own with your child. I didn’t know how hard I’d have to work to keep my temper and how terrible it would make me feel to even have to think that I might loose my temper with a tiny child. I didn’t know how insecure I’d be on a daily basis having been bombarded with information from health advisors, family, friends and the internet about all the things I was doing wrong. I didn’t know how within days of having one child I’d be questioned on when I was going to have another. I didn’t know how much it would hurt when friends stopped calling and people stopped asking how I was and only how my daughter was. I didn’t know how scared and insecure I could feel on bad days. I didn’t know how often I’d wish precious days away. I didn’t know how much of myself I’d loose. I didn’t know so many things.

But then there were the other things I didn’t know.

I didn’t know how one simple smile from my daughter could light up my entire day. I didn’t know how seeing her feed and eat would become one of the most satisfying things I could see. I didn’t know the sense of overwhelming pride I’d feel when I realised my body had grown a child. I didn’t know how much closer it would bring my husband and I and how we’d just sit and hold hands while we watched our beautiful little gift dream at night. I didn’t know how precious a full nights sleep was. I didn’t know that I’d spend the day worrying about her not sleeping enough but the second she’d go to sleep I’d miss her like a limb was missing. I didn’t know how much love my heart could hold. I didn’t know how mentally strong I could actually be. I didn’t know how much joy I could gain from spending time colouring with her. I didn’t know how much I’d adore watching her learn and explore.

Each of these things I didn’t know but I do now. I know how hard it is but also how rewarding. I know how sad I can be but also full of joy.

I know I wouldn’t change a single thing.

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